At EthiCo we are passionate about being a part of our community, whether that be local in Southampton or global for the plastic free movement. There was a lot of talk about how to be zero waste at Christmas time, including our own zero waste switch to reusable Christmas wrapping. Christmas is one of the biggest times of year for creating landfill waste and we focus so much of our time on buying and spending. We decided to brainstorm how EthiCo could benefit our community and those who needed it most. That's why we started our first Christmas Appeal!
Homelessness is a growing issue in our society so we decided to focus our attention on helping the homeless in Southampton. The Society of St James are a fantastic charity that rehabilitate people who find themselves homeless and in need of help. Lots of people donate clothes, but dental hygiene is an issue that isn't always addressed. This is where we felt we could make the biggest difference, by tackling the issue of dental hygiene and plastic waste by donating our bamboo toothbrushes.
We gave our customers the option to purchase a Christmas Appeal toothbrush. The toothbrush itself would be donated to the Society of St James homeless charity on Southampton, and 25p of our profits went into our pot to be donated to environmental charities at the end of the year. We started this campaign at the beginning of December and within 3 weeks, we managed to get 37 toothbrushes donated!
We then spoke to retailers in Southampton about donating some toothpaste for the appeal as well. We were thrilled to hear back from the Coop in Mayflower, who donated 24 tubes of toothpaste. We also were lucky enough to raise £50 in donations, which allowed us to purchase 24 pairs of warm socks. This allowed us to create 24 packs of a toothpaste tube, bamboo toothbrush and pair of warm socks and 13 individual toothbrushes left over. We donated two of our Fairtrade EthiCo tote bags as well to carry them in.
We were extremely grateful to the Coop in Mayflower, whose generosity allowed us to take our appeal further and create the packs of toothbrushes and toothpaste. We want to say a massive thank you to the people who donated to our campaign, which meant we could add even more by purchasing the warm socks. We also want to say a massive thank you to all of our customers who donated to our Christmas Appeal and allowed this to happen. It has been fantastic to see the community spirit from everyone we encountered with our campaign. We hope we have been able to start addressing the issues our community faces and how we can help as a business. We look forward to working with SSJ and other people in our community throughout the year.